January 25, 2018 / 12:32 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Nigerian stocks drop for fourth session as bank shares sink

(Adds details, background)

LAGOS, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Nigerian stocks shed 1.5 percent on Thursday to drop for the fourth straight session after shares in the relatively liquid banking sector sank.

Stock dropped to 43,309 points by mid-session, spooked partly by a political impasse which could threaten the central bank’s independence and as investors booked profit from recent rallies.

The main index is up 15 percent so far in January, however, extending last year’s 42 percent gain.

Banking sector shares lost 1.1 percent, led by Diamond Bank and Skye Bank each down more than 9 percent. Wema Bank and Unity Bank each fall more than 8 percent.

The central bank said on Monday it wouldn’t hold a meeting to set interest rates due to its inability to form a quorum.

Traders had hinged this year’s rally on hopes of a stable currency and lower interest rates driving corporate earnings. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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